Weekly Message
A weekly message from Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft, SWISD Superintendent of Schools

Recent Posts
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Dear SWISD Family, Welcome back, and happy 2018! It's a new year and a new start, and there are a lot of exciting opportunities that lie ahead of all of us. The new calendar year allows us to reflect on the road traveled and the journey that still lies ahead. I'm very proud of where we are, and I'm proud of who we have become as a district and school community. During the first half of this school year we have embarked on a new national and international leadership training venue called, The Holdsworth Center. As all of you are aware we (SWISD) are one of seven ISD’s as the inaugural group to start and design this new state of the art leadership training. So far, we have had site visits to Singapore, Canada and throughout Texas. We have been in trainings with professors from Stanford, Harvard and Columbia Universities and many other entities such as the HEB Headquarters. There are a group of SW folks and another growing group of SW staff who are developing our District Leadership Framework that should be rolled out in mid spring. The Holdsworth journey will not be a short trip, as it is a five year commitment. However, it is extremely beneficial and will add to the future of SWISD and Texas at a level I would not have ever dreamed of before. Another group of SW staff that includes some of our principals will begin their Holdsworth training in the near future. I encourage every SW staff member to sign up for the Holdsworth Mailing List to receive email updates on the Holdsworth Center by clicking here. (Let’s show the rest of the districts the power and dedication of the only mid-size district in the group.)   The school districts that prepare for the future and deliver in the present are the ones where student and community goals are realized. We have many things to be proud of, and we have so much opportunity to plug into. The most important thing that can happen in our district is for every classroom (teacher) to have the most effective teaching and learning experience possible every day with every student. Welcome to 2018. Together, let's make this year our best one yet here at SWISD!
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:06 AM 9 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, This week is National School Counseling week, and we must take time to thank our SWISD counselors who devote themselves to helping our students achieve academic and personal success. Thank you for being there to support and advise our students during critical moments in their lives. Your passion and dedication does not go unnoticed. I’m also looking forward to welcoming several staff members from PK 4SA and a group of educators, including administrators and a superintendent, from Tempe, AZ during their upcoming visit to Southwest. On Wednesday, they will be visiting Bob Hope Elementary for the opportunity to view model classrooms that espouse small group instruction. It is because of BHE’s extensive work with PK 4SA this past school year that this partnership is being highlighted, and I am tremendously proud of the work BHE and all of our campuses have done and continue to do to help provide the best education possible for our students. We’re doing outstanding work here at SW, and I’m always joyful when I think about our future, because I know that with the passionate, dedicated and always self-improving members of SWISD that we have, our opportunities are endless.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:06 AM 10 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, Welcome to the last week in January and the first week in February 2018. Last week was the District Science Fair, and I want to thank all the great science teachers and students for the hard work and passion that they put into making this year’s projects some of the best that SWISD has seen. A big thank you to all the staff members who worked behind the scenes and to our judges who had the painstaking task of rating all of the fine projects submitted. We had one of the biggest turnouts we have ever had before, and all around the event was a great success and a memorable one for our students. I have previously shared with you the values of the three “R’s”, and I want to revisit that message. The three “R’s” stand for Rigor, Relevance and Relationships, and it’s important that we help our students by making sure they are always adhering to those three key things. It’s also critical that we serve as role models for our students each and every day. I ask that each of you continue to inspire and encourage our students to strive for greatness and be the best that they can be. Have a great week!
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:04 AM 8 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, It's the start of our 4th six weeks, which means we're more than halfway through the school year. That also means that we must be working harder than ever in the classroom to teach and motivate our students because our time with them is limited. We have the chance to help our students achieve their greatest aspirations and become responsible citizens and leaders in the community. When I think about leaders in our community, the first people who come to mind are our seven board members. Southwest ISD is extremely fortunate to have a school board composed of seven individuals who bring a great amount of knowledge, commitment and passion to our district, and most importantly always put our students first. I would like to congratulate them on their recent honor of being chosen as a finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award in the Outstanding School Board category. What a tremendous accomplishment. This comes just six months after they received the Region 20 School Board of the Year Award back in July 2017. These accolades are very well-deserved, and it is an honor of my own to work alongside these seven visionaries.     Together, let’s continue to provide the best education we can for our students.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:04 AM 6 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, As we start off this final week before the Christmas Break, I take this opportunity to wish all 1,800 of our SWISD Family employees Happy Holidays! It’s been wonderful to see our SW community helping spread holiday cheer this year. There have been so many toy drives, holiday concerts, and volunteer efforts than any other time I can recall. Please know that any act of kindness you have shown this holiday season makes a difference. Acts of generosity and kindness do not only make a difference in the hearts of those receiving, but also in the hearts of those giving. Whether you’ve donated a toy, sang Christmas carols at a holiday concert, or simply wished another a happy holiday, you have helped show our students what this time of year is all about. Thank you for that. I am aware this time of year brings a need to get away, reflect and re-energize – I encourage everyone to do just that. Please enjoy this Winter Break with your family and friends. I hope each and every one of you have a safe and restful two weeks. We look forward to seeing you in 2018. And, we are so fortunate to have you in the SW Family!
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:03 AM 6 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, Many of our calendars are filled with holiday events during this time of the school year. It can be very easy to start counting down the days until Winter Break, but I want to encourage each and every one of you to appreciate this holiday season. Let’s try our best to not overwhelm ourselves with the fast pace, but to enjoy this special time we have with our students.   During an upcoming holiday event, make sure you take a minute to soak in the true meaning and purpose of it all. Observe the smiles on our student’s faces, listen to the words of the holiday carols and enjoy this time of togetherness. Family is one of the best things about the holidays, and here at Southwest we are a diverse, passionate and caring family. Let’s soak up this SWISD holiday season while we can.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:03 AM 5 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, I hope everyone is starting off this first full week of December with the intention to make it a great one! Every day that we show up to work we get to choose what attitude we will face the day’s challenges with. Our students deserve to learn in an environment that is welcoming and encouraging and filled with people who inspire, challenge and motivate them. I’d like to thank you for helping to providing that exact kind of environment for them. Helping our community goes hand in hand with helping our students. This coming Saturday is the Blue Santa Parade, which is annual event that brings our community together to celebrate the holiday season. This years’ 17th Annual Blue Santa Parade will be held on December 9, 2017 with the parade kicking off at 10 a.m. at Five Palms and it will end at Miller's Pond. Following the parade, the celebration will continue at Miller’s Pond with food and entertainment. I encourage you all to come out and enjoy the festivities with our entire SWISD community. Together, let’s make the most of the last month of the year.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:02 AM 17 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, Welcome back! I hope everyone had a restful Thanksgiving break with family and friends. It’s time to bring all of that energy that we gained while recharging during the break and put it into our classrooms, on every campus and throughout the entire district.   This week is the start of the 3rd Six Weeks, and with it being the holiday season, we only have 19 full instructional days with our students before Christmas Break. Let’s make sure that we are taking full advantage of every minute we have with them because they go by too fast. Once the next 19 instructional days go by we will be half way through the school year. We’re so fortunate to have the opportunity to help prepare and educate our students for the future, so let’s make sure that we give them 100% every day. I'd also like to congratulate the Southwest High School Football team on their fantastic season. The Dragons not only made the playoffs for the twelfth consecutive season, but they made it to the second round defeating La Joya in the first. The Dragons fought hard and ended their season with their heads held high with a 47-35 loss against the Los Fresnos Falcons this past Saturday. With a final overall record of 9-3, a Co-District Championship and a trip to the Area Round of the UIL State Playoffs, this team has a lot to be proud of. I'm excited to see things back in full gear all throughout SWISD. This week, remember that we choose what we do with the time that is given to us. Choose to make the most of the time we’re given with our students.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:02 AM 5 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, There are two different types of mindsets you can have as an educator and in life: fixed or growth. Words can’t express how proud I am to lead a district that embraces new ideas and is constantly striving to be better. Southwest ISD is on a very successful path because of the growth mindset of our staff, students and community. Your constant efforts to be a continuous learner do not go unnoticed; they are what make SWISD stand apart. Our great nation stands apart because of the sacrifice of many. This coming Saturday, November 11, 2017, is Veteran’s Day, and I ask you to take a moment to thank and honor those who have served in our armed forces. This courageous group of men and women, along with their families, have given up so much for our country’s freedom. Their bravery, selflessness and strength deserve our recognition and acknowledgement. These are honored people. Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted in the tragic events that unfolded in Sutherland Springs, TX this past weekend. If you happen to see a student in distress over the events that took place just East of San Antonio, please let one of our campus counselors know. In memory and honor of the victims, we along with other state entities, will fly our flags at half-staff through November 9, 2017.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:01 AM 12 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, We’re making our way into November this week! This Tuesday is Halloween, and SWISD will be having our Annual Trunk or Treat event at Traders Village. The event will take place on Oct. 31 at 5:30 p.m., so make sure you bring out the family and enjoy all of the free candy and rides. I hope everyone has a very fun and safe holiday. We are wrapping up our United Way Campaign this week, and I would like to ask you one final time to help us reach our 100% participation goal as a district. Please remember that any contribution you make can help change the lives of our students and community. You have until this Friday, November 3, 2017 to donate. So far for the 2017-18 school year, our students have had an average of 96% daily attendance throughout all of our campuses. For all of our teachers throughout the district, they have an average of 93% daily attendance. Although those are great numbers and they should be celebrated, they also present an opportunity for a challenge and improvement. 3% more of our students than our teachers are present every day. Teachers and all SWISD staff, I challenge you to do your best to be here for our students every single day. If our students can be here, we can too. In fact, they need us here. Let’s keep up the great work we are already doing, but continue to strive for even better for ourselves and our district.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:01 AM 8 Comments
  
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